Cycling fans from across Staffordshire are set to line the streets this weekend as part of the second annual Staffordshire cycling Festival.
With over 700 cyclists confirmed to take part in this year’s festival, the event promises to be a weekend not to be missed.
The event will see a series of sprints around Stafford town this Friday evening and longer races around Shugborough on Saturday. Staffordshire County Council's INTO team will also be on hand during the festival to promote cycle training, and other travel advice. Activities for all the family including a Balance Bike Competition for 2 to 6 year olds, Extreme Mountain Bike Show, Rollapaluza, and The Big Quiz to win a bicycle will be taking place Friday afternoon.
In the saddle for the two days of racing are some of the top UK cyclists, including two times gold medal Olympian, Ed Clancy MBE and fresh from Glasgow and crowned Commonwealth Games track gold medallist Tom Scully.
But as well as the professionals, over 500 local cyclists have also signed up to take part in the two public sportives around Shugborough.
Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader Mark Winnington said: “Staffordshire is a great county for cycling and events like this help to inspire many of our budding young cyclists and provide a welcome boost to our local tourism economy.
“The Staffordshire Cycling Festival attracts among the very best in the UK and it has now become a top event in the sport’s calendar.
“Over the last few years we have seen a huge spike in the popularity of cycling and this is something we are fully behind. We want to see more people on their bike – both for leisure and for getting to and from work, which is all part of our aim of having an active Staffordshire.
“We want to make it easier and safer for cyclists and will continue to invest in the county’s cycleways and improve cycling facilities in Stafford town itself.”
Speaking of the event, Staffordshire Cycling Festival Founder and Organiser, Paul Rowlands said: “We’ve been astounded by the response to this year’s event. With the number of cycling events staged throughout the UK at an all-time high, the vast increase in the number of registrations is something to be celebrated by the county and is testament to the quality of the course and rides to be enjoyed in the area.
“It’s with thanks to our partners including Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Borough Council, The Lewis Partnership, HMT, INTO and all of the local businesses that have got behind the Staffordshire Cycling Festival that we’ve been able to achieve such a fantastic programme of events. We look forward to inviting everyone to be a part of the Festival and enjoying what promised to be a great, action packed weekend.”
The first race kicks off with the Women’s Tour of Staffordshire at 6.45pm followed by The Lewis Partnership Men’s Stafford Grand Prix at 8pm.
Racing resumes at 7am on Saturday August 2nd with the INTO Staffordshire 35 mile sportive and 70 mile open sportive.
At 3.30pm on Saturday the mountain bike race starts, followed by stage 2 of Women’s Tour of Staffordshire BC National Series at 5.45pm. Later in the evening at 7pm the final race of the festival unfolds with the Shugborough Kermesse.
The event is anticipated to contribute over £225,000 to Staffordshire’s economy, more than double that of 2013. For further information on the event, including details of road closures visit www.ridestaffs.co.uk.